Feeds
80%

Apple iPod Shuffle 2G

Life's still random, just smaller...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Preview The first iPod Shuffle was something of a surprise. Apple had already said it didn't think too much of Flash-based, low-capacity players, though that's just what the Shuffle was. It didn't even have a screen, unlike so many of its rivals, forcing many an observer to wonder who'd buy the thing. People did though, and the compact player proved remarkably popular...

Did Apple meet a need, or were consumer too awed by the iPod brand? Maybe a little of both, but mostly it hit the right price point. Whatever, the Shuffle found its niche. Even when Apple shipped a comparably capacious Nano, it couldn't bring itself to drop the Shuffle. Quite the reverse, it's since gone on to redesign it completely, this time focusing on getting the size down to pitch the product, true or not, as the world's smallest digital music player.

apple's second-generation ipod shuffle

The Shuffle ships in the same clear plastic case as the second-generation iPod Nano, so expect to have to download iTunes from Apple's website if you don't have it already. Hidden behind the player are a pair of Apple's old-style iPod earphones - oddly, not the new set the debuted with the 2G Nano - foam covers, the customary quick-start guide and - for the first time in ages - a bundled dock.

This is no philanthropy on Apple's part, a bid to save the Shuffle 2G buyer a further $19 on an accessory, but something of a necessity. The Shuffle slots sideways into the dock, locking onto a 3.5mm earphone jack integrated into the cradle. The dock doubles up as a USB cable, as you'd expect, but this time the player's earphone socket connections are used for data transfer and to feed the battery.

Given the size of the Shuffle, it's a clever solution. That said, I miss the integrated USB port - look, ma, no wires - of its predecessor. Still, I'd have preferred Apple to build a mini USB port into the player as these are always going to be more readily available than USB-to-3.5mm cables and/or docks. Presumably, Apple decided it was more cost effective to bundle the non-standard dock with the Shuffle than engineer a tiny USB port. Or maybe it just thought users would prefer a dock. Well, this user doesn't, not for this kind of device. I don't want to have to take the dock with me when I travel, and with the old Shuffle I didn't even need to take a cable.

There's another downside: speed. Apple's website simply notes the Shuffle's need for a "USB port". Not USB 1.1. Not USB 2.0. Just USB. How come? The Shuffle's data transfer rate is faster than 1.1, slower than 2.0, preventing Apple from associating it with either. Tests suggest you should get around 36Mbps - three times USB 1.1's 12Mbps but a lot less than USB 2.0's 480Mbps.

apple's second-generation ipod shuffle dock

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.